For those of you that know him, you are laughing.
For those of you who haven’t, imagine a guy who was born in Manhattan and never really left the island except for going back and forth on the train to his family home in Westchester County.
(Honestly, he says he grew up in that house, but really, I think that’s just where he slept.)
I met him in New York. And I have to admit, in the two years I was there, I really didn’t find a Mexican restaurant I fell in love with.
I mean, there was the occasional fish-bowl-sized Margarita with fancy salt and a limed rim, but nothin came close to what I had here in Texas — both the Mexican and Tex-Mex.
So, moving to Austin, Texas, for George, was an exploration into a whole new world of culture. (And you would have loved seeing their faces when he started talking.)
He affectionately began referring to every Tex-Mex delight as an ‘Empanada.’ Even if it was a taco, a burrito, a tostada, he would call it an ‘Empanada.’
The first time he did this I nearly had a half coronary / pee in my pants …’It’s NOT AN EMPANADA,’ I stated.
‘An Empanada is like a CALZONE, like a puff pastry stuffed with meat/and or veggies.’
But if you know my husband you also know if he ‘gets a laugh,’ then he’s gonna use it again and again.
So, until probably the end of time, anything I cook like a taco, burrito or enchilada will be referred to as an EMPANADA, and taco night is EMPANADA NIGHT, NO MATTER WHAT.
(And I’m ok with that. In marriage one has to make compromises, and I’m willing to bend a little here. As long as he understands what an empanada really is.)
When we moved here he had so many new things to get used to and I really didn’t know if he adapt, but he did. In fact, he loves EMPANADA NIGHT. Which is really TACO/TOSTADA NIGHT.
YUMMY SUPERFOOD TOSTADAS:
- 1 box baked tostada shells
- 1 can black ‘refried’ beans
- 1 container fresh guacamole
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or thirds (depending on size)
- 2 cups kale cut up like garnish pieces (see ‘tostada toppers’ pic)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup Mateo’s salsa (any brand will work. Costco carries Mateo’s.)
- 1/4 cup whole black beans cooked (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon Chimayo Chili Powder or any other chili powder (optional)
- Vegan cheddar cheese (optional)
- Wash and chop kale, cherry tomatoes. Add to big mixing bowl.
- Add brown rice, salsa, a few whole black beans and chili powder.
- Mix very well (coating kale evenly with the salsa.)
- Set bowl aside and/or store in fridge until ready to top tostadas.
- Open containers of refried beans, guacamole and tostadas.
- Warm refried beans, tostada shells.
- Using a knife scoop out about 1/4 cup beans for the first tostada shell.
- Place beans in the middle of tostada shell.
- Working from middle of shell, spread beans evenly to coat shell. (Helps to rotate shell like a decorator frosting a cake.)
- Spread guacamole as a layer on top of the refried bean layer.
- Top with kale/cherry tomato/rice mixture made earlier.
- Top with more veggie goodies like purple onion, cabbage, vegan cheese, etc.
- You can make your own tostada shells from sprouted corn tortillas like Ezekiel brand. (Simply bake/warm tortillas to dry out water and voila! Instant tostada shell.)
- I buy baked tostada shells from HEB. It’s their own brand.
- Sanissimo brand baked corn tostada shells can be purchased online at MexGrocer.com.
- It’s super easy to make your own guacamole — just avocado, lemon juice and sea salt.
- If I don’t have my own cooked black beans I buy the Bearitos Refried Black Beans (Vegetarian). VitaCost.com sells a 4-pack for about $10.
- This week we cooked our own black beans and made our own ‘refried’ base layer.
- Weekly Menu: Featuring ‘Heritage’ Chimayó Chile Powder (yardandplate.com)
- How-To: Use ‘heirloom’ chili powder to boost ‘them beans (yardandplate.com)